Unemployment rate remains unchanged

By Aaron Rice
March 6, 2019

Mississippi lost 700 jobs over the previous month while the unemployment rate in January remained unchanged for the eighth consecutive month at 4.7 percent.

According to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, this represents the lowest rate since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began calculating state unemployment data in 1976. But Mississippi still has among the highest unemployment rates in the country. The national unemployment rate is 4.0, up slightly from 3.9 percent in December.

But these numbers vary greatly depending on what part of the state you are in.

In the Jackson metro area, Rankin (3.7 percent) and Madison (3.9 percent) counties posted unemployment rates lower than the national average. Hinds county, however, had a rate of 4.8 percent.

In the Pine Belt, Lamar county had an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent. Forrest county, though, was higher at 4.7 percent.

Desoto county had an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, while Lafayette county had a rate of 4.3 percent. Union, Pontotoc, and Lee counties boated unemployment rates of 3.9 percent, 4.1 percent, and 4.1 percent, respectively.

But on the Coast, unemployment rates were above state and national averages. Harrison county had the lowest rate at 4.8 percent, while it was 5.8 percent in Hancock county and 6 percent in Jackson county. The Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula MSA had an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent, about a point higher than the Hattiesburg MSA (4.5 percent) and the Jackson MSA (4.4 percent).

The Delta and Southwest Mississippi continue to post the highest unemployment rates in the state. This includes 14.1 percent in Jefferson county, 12.7 percent in Issaquena county, 10.2 percent in Humphreys county, and 10 percent in Holmes and Wilkinson counties.

Among cities, Moss Point had the highest unemployment rate at 7.7 percent, followed by 7.1 percent in Greenville, and 6.4 percent in Vicksburg. On the other end of the spectrum, Madison had an unemployment rate of 3.3 percent, while both Clinton and Southaven posted unemployment rates of 3.6 percent.


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